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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:33 AM   #1
ArchHibb
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Question Help! Are my new FCABs defective?

Last Fall I replaced both FCAB's with OEM Lemforder's @ 75k as preventative maintenance. With the car resting on the ground, I could wiggle the front wheels fore/aft a little bit as the bushings allow for some movement.

Last week, after 5,000mi. and buying new summer tires, I went to get an alignment at a reputable shop. The front wheel movement on the ground is the same as before, but with the car on the alignment table (which has swivel pads beneath the tires) the movement amplifies significantly. Looking at the FCAB's, the control arm moves within them to the full limits of the metal housing, without any metal-to-metal contact of course. The shop said the FCAB's were shot.

That didn't sound right to me, but the amount of movement seemed oddly excessive too. I contacted the online part supplier where I purchased them (one of the majors often recommended here on the forum) and told them I had a pair of defective FCAB's. I bought another pair and installed them last night.

Today on the alignment table, the wheel movement is about half as much as before, but the shop says it's still not right and that the parts must be defective. I say that they are brand new and working properly.

Who is correct?
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:39 PM   #2
generalvp
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I would not trust any local mechanic just because they said so. For example, at Discount Tire, I wanted my tires to be Road Force balanced, paid for it but the tech doing it didn't do it (I was watching him). I asked him why he's not doing the road force. "What's that?" was his response. I almost **** in my pants.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:54 PM   #3
ArchHibb
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Thanks General. Having thought about it a little more, I am beginning to suspect this shop (a major tire supplier & installer) may not be familiar enough with the 3 to make any judgments about the suspension. Which I find a little surprising since this is an extremely popular model car.

I just need the collective wisdom here to tell me what is acceptable for front suspension movement and then I can respond accordingly.
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Old 07-31-2014, 12:58 PM   #4
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Bump.
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Old 07-31-2014, 01:17 PM   #5
Rob43
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Drive your Bimmer to the local BMW dealer, walk into the service shop & find the alignment technician. Ask him nicely to walk out & eyeball/touch your Bimmers FCAB's, maybe offer to buy him lunch. If you can accomplish this, the tech will know one way or another (within 30 seconds) if they are any good.



Good luck,
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Old 07-31-2014, 03:05 PM   #6
ArchHibb
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Thanks Rob. Excellent advice and exactly what I'm going to do.
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